Friday, March 19, 2010

Need To & Want To

I was at yoga last week and our instructor said something (as I'm in the middle of a great sun salute a) that really hit me.

"Pay attention to when you want to stop," she said, "and when you need to stop."

While running, I find that 98% of the time when I'm feeling it, I want to stop. Does anyone else feel that way?  I'm not talking about that nagging injury or a pulled muscle or serious injury... it's so important to listen to you body and know when you need to stop, at the risk of injuring yourself.  I'm talking about when you're so tired, or having a rough day, or just plain don't want to, and you want to stop.

For me this little snippet has been seriously empowering.  A new mantra perhaps.  I've got a half marathon on Sunday and that is what I'll be asking myself when those miles get hard (and believe me, they will get hard).  Julia, do you need to stop?  Or do you just want to?  Mind or matter.  That's all there is to it.


  1. Sometimes I make myself think about if I'll really feel any better if I walk. Like when I'm running up a hill. Walking up a hill is hard work, too. So I might as well just keep trucking up it running. Not going to be much difference anyway. I often realize I want to stop but don't need to, so I keep going. :) Other times I'm just on a lazy run and stop when I want. And I know it's a want. Ha!

  2. dude. totally. without even realizing it, i think that was how i accomplished my time goal for this last marathon. i was so tired and WANTED to walk so bad during the last 6 miles, but i kept running. and when i finished, i realized i wasn't as tired as i thought i was.

  3. hurray for the new mantra! i think mine has always been...maybe slow down A TON, but never stop...

  4. I really like this too! I've always thought about this regarding my injuries... it's always been difficult for me to recognize when I'm hurting vs. when I'm HURT. I have no problem running through aches and pains.. but it's always been hard to know when it's something serious and I should stop. (thus my history of stress fractures)

    You're right that it is so important to listen to your body.. although it seems as though I'm still in the process of figuring that out :)

  5. Julia- I'm SO grateful you posted this! I read this a few weeks ago and since then whenever I feel myself WANTing to stop I assess how my body really feels. So far, I have not NEEDed to stop so I just keep running. No more stopping just because I WANT to! It feels good to push through the nagging, negative thoughts.